I've read a few of Denise Hunter's Christian romances- most recently her novellas in the Smitten collections. Barefoot Summer is a contemporary Christian romance that is sweet and inspiring.
Madison’s heart has been closed for years. But one summer can change everything.
In the years since her twin brother’s drowning, Madison McKinley has struggled to put it behind her. Despite the support of her close-knit family and her gratifying job as a veterinarian in their riverside town, the loss still haunts her.
To find closure, Madison sets out to fulfill her brother’s dream of winning the town’s annual regatta. But first she has to learn to sail, and fast.
Beckett O’Reilly knows Madison is out of his league, but someone neglected to tell his heart. Now she needs his help—and he’ll give it, because he owes her far more than she’ll ever know.
Madison will do anything—even work with the infamous Beckett O’Reilly—to reach her goal. And as much as she’d like to deny it, the chemistry between them is electrifying. As summer wanes, her feelings for him grow and a fledgling faith takes root in her heart.
But Beckett harbors a secret that will test the limits of their new love. Can their romance survive summer’s challenges? And will achieving her brother’s dream give Madison the peace she desperately seeks?
I really enjoyed the characters of Madison and Beckett. I thought I might not like Madison at first. She was pretty snippy and a little peevish. But I warmed to her character and enjoyed her spunky spirit. Beckett was a great "bad-boy" hero type- rugged good looks and a low self-image because of his rough home life.
There was a little predictability, but I still enjoyed the story. It was sweet and inspiring without being preachy. There was a clear gospel message presented. And both characters grew spiritually even as they grew closer to the book's resolution and to each other.
I give this a solid 4 stars and a G for content. I think it was only the first in a series that is going to include all of Madison's family members. I'll be looking for the others.
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.